Inside: Does having a messy house make you frustrated? Short-tempered? Stressed out? Use these 21 clever tricks to learn how to be organized at home when your house is an overwhelming mess.
From the moment we invite company over to the moment they leave, I blow a fuse and become a controlling drill-sergeant yelling orders.
I don’t like the person I become, but I can’t seem to stop her, either.
“Put your socks into the hamper. Living rooms aren’t laundry baskets.”
“Why does the bathroom already look like a tornado blew through it? I’m sure I cleaned it two hours ago.”
“Is it too late to throw a match to the house and meet them at a restaurant instead?”
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It Won’t Always Be This Bad…
“Maybe it comes with age,” I mutter in a frail attempt to reassure myself that the fact that I can never seem to be organized somehow isn’t my fault.
It’s someone else’s fault. It always is.
- It’s those Southern Style magazine’s fault for making me expect to have such a pristine home
- It’s my always-organized, you-won’t-find-a-hair-out-of-place friend’s fault for making me wish I could live like that
- Or, maybe the blame falls on me, after all
Feeling hopeless and alone, I scan the room for something to collect all the junk and hide it away in.
There’s a basket, but it’s already overflowing with children’s toys.
My only hope is to go out and buy more baskets to cram junk into to try and make our house look at least somewhat put-together.
Before long, you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between our house and The Container Store.
What I hadn’t learned yet (hey, maybe it does come with age) was that it is totally possible to take a house from disaster-zone to always company-ready even when you live with a family who loves to make messes but is allergic to cleaning up after themselves.
My Break-Through Moment
Studies show that clutter makes it next to impossible to focus, and it bombards our productivity.
When we’re surrounded by mess, our brains go into overdrive and don’t know what tasks to focus on, let alone what to do first to organize the mess in our homes. When we do finally find a task to focus on, the clutter cues to our brain that there is always more to do, that our jobs are never done.
Learning that the root of my stress-induced tantrums was because the clutter in our house was bombarding my mind made me realize that I wasn’t alone when I felt like this…
I’m a Failure Because I Can’t Keep My House Organized
Studies have shown that women, in particular, feel increasingly high levels of stress when their homes are cluttered and unorganized.
Clutter bombards your mind and causes you to struggle to focus on one task, since the clutter cues visual over-stimulation in your brain. This makes it next to impossible to focus on the clutter and make a solution to end the mess.
On top of causing an inability to focus, Psychology Today also states that,
“Clutter creates feelings of guilt (“I should be more organized”) and embarrassment, especially when others unexpectedly drop by our homes”
How to Keep Your House Organized Every Day
Working to keep your house organized and tidy every day can be a lot of work… but it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s the deal:
The secret for how to be organized at home isn’t such a big secret after all.
While some people do spend time reading organization books (I recommend you read this one in particular), the majority of people with organized homes are too busy to spend every spare moment reading books on home organization.
Instead, they’ve learned how to keep their homes organized by implementing home organization habits into their daily lives to maintain their homes and keep them from becoming a pigsty.
People with organized homes do small things every day to eliminate big mess at the end of the week.
Organized people aren’t born that way. Organized people are organized because they choose to be that way.
While some people are naturally more organized than others, home organization isn’t something that is born – it’s something that is created. It’s something that everybody has to work for.
What About All The Stuff?
Before you get started organizing your house, we need to address one common problem people run into:
Trying to organize a cluttered house.
The first step to organizing a cluttered house is, in fact, decluttering.
Learning how to get rid of stuff is the first step in organizing any house. Because if you don’t, you’ll just end up shuffling clutter from one room to the next, trying to find somewhere to make it all fit.
But even after days of blood, sweat, and tears, trying to make your house appealing, it will still look unorganized and full.
The first step to an organized home is decluttering. The second step? That’s where actually organizing comes in.
Today, we’re going to be talking about home organization, not decluttering. If you need help decluttering your house, these are two decluttering systems you need:
How to be Organized at Home With These 21 Home Organization Tips
Top Products for Home Organization
- A to-do list (my recommendation: self journal)
- Free 5 Word Organization Challenge (a free home organization class)
- 30 Day Home Management Boot Camp (use the 4 pillars of homemaking to organize every aspect of your life)
- From Chaos to Calm (the ultimate decluttering guide to remove the clutter from your house to help you get organized, faster)
Now that you’ve got all the supplies needed to learn how to be organized, let’s get right into it:
1. You Actually Don’t Need More Space
Anytime I used to think of organizing, I thought it meant I needed to go out and buy a bunch of home organization containers to store all my stuff.
(It didn’t help that they’re super cute and made me addicted to wanting them in every room possible in my house.)
As I dug deeper into learning about how to be organized and the real reason why I could never stay organized, I realized I was constantly trying to make more space in my house.
…but I was never getting rid of unnecessary items.
One important characteristic of an organized person is that they sort through their belongings first, then they find space in their home and go out and buy containers to keep their belongings tidy.
The reason for this is because you really don’t need half of the stuff you own. No one does.
So, spending time and money organizing everything you own is a waste. You’ll waste money because you’ll buy more organization containers than necessary.
You’ll waste time because you’ll end up stuffing things you shouldn’t be keeping into closets, nooks, and crannies in your house to make it all fit.
After you sort through your belongings, you’ll end up tossing and a significant amount of stuff, and that’s a good thing.
That means there’s less stuff for you to organize. Less stuff taking up space in your home. And less stuff for you to clean around when you clean your house.
Remember this important step for organizing your house: you should sort through your belongings first, then organize them second.
Then, after you organize your belongings you’ll know exactly how much extra space you need in your home and how many storage containers are necessary to neatly keep your belongings tidy.
If you start organizing your house without getting rid of anything, you’re going to end up keeping things that you haven’t used in 10 years and you don’t need anymore, and your house is going to look cluttered and untidy even after you spend hours organizing (or, as I like to call it, shuffling your clutter from one place to another).
Bottom line: Before you start organizing your belongings, sort through them and get rid of anything you no longer need or use. If you struggle with decluttering, here are two free resources that will help you:
2. Clean Up and Pick Up As You Go
Tidying up your house as you go throughout your day is possibly the most effective thing you can do to keep your house organized (and keep it ready for those unexpected guests that pop over and turn you into Mrs. Drill-Sergeant. Or is that just me?).
Cleaning up throughout the day could look anything like:
- Regularly loading dishes into the dishwasher
- Never leaving a room empty-handed (ie. walking from the bedroom to the kitchen? Bring any dishes with you. Going from the living room past the office? Put stray papers away in the office, etc.)
- Unloading the dishwasher while waiting for your morning coffee to brew
- Folding laundry while playing with your baby
- Clearing the bathroom countertop while getting ready in the morning
You’re tired enough at the end of the day from working, making continual meals, and daydreaming about what life was like before you birthed these tireless torpedos that now take over your house.
You don’t need the added stress of a messy house on top of all that.
The more you can master cleaning up throughout the day, the less work you’ll have at the end of the day and week… which means after you put the house to bed you actually can disintegrate into the couch and bury your face in that rocky road ice cream that has been calling your name all day…
…instead of doing what you normally do, which is spending the next hour or two just tidying up around the house to do it all over again tomorrow.
Don’t worry if you don’t get the hang of cleaning up throughout your day right away. If it’s something you’re not used to doing, it will take time and a continual reminder before it becomes a natural habit.
But once it does, you’ll feel the chains of endless housework fall off your shoulders. You might even feel free.
Download the FREE room-by-room decluttering checklist as a bonus for joining my newsletter: Printable Daily Organization Habits to Get Organized
3. Create Drop Zones
One thing I’ve found to be very helpful in keeping our house organized every day is to create a “drop zone” in the two main areas of your home – the living room and the entryway.
These are the two areas of our home that always seem to become unorganized first.
Because when I get home from town and am coming into the house with a baby in one arm and a handful of groceries in the other hand, the last thing I’m worried about is keeping the entryway tidy.
(My thought process goes more like “I need to get this butterball turkey onto solid ground before he wiggles his way out of my arms and falls.”)
And, as we go throughout our day, the living room just gets messy, and there’s not much I can do about it – unless I were to spend 17 of the 24 hours in a day cleaning up behind my family.
This is why I chose to create drop zones in those two areas in our house – so that the mess stays contained, but I don’t need to worry about constantly cleaning up to keep it from becoming a pigsty.
“Wait, what IS a drop zone?”
A drop zone is an area – also known as a miscellaneous basket – where you put every out-of-place item or thing that you don’t have time to put away neatly at the moment.
For us, we use a simple basket (much like one of these) and put anything that doesn’t belong or we don’t have time to put away at the moment into the basket.
This way keys don’t get left laying in the middle of the room, stray socks don’t get pushed under the couch, and books, pens, papers, and other miscellaneous items don’t get left out and about.
Instead, we stick anything we can’t put away right away into this basket, then at the end of the day, we take the basket and bring all the contents to where they belong.
When you create your drop zone, use something like this and place it in the areas in your house that you notice tend to get the messiest, the quickest.
4. Make Your Bed
If you don’t make your bed every morning, you’re not alone. A study found that 59% of people don’t make their beds. If you’re among them, there are some interesting statistics that prove maybe it’s time to trade in your crinkled sheets.
Not only does making your bed make tthe entire bedroom look more organized than when it’s not made, but it also has other benefits.
A Psychology Today article states the importance of making your bed daily:
“71 percent of bed makers consider themselves happy; while 62 percent of non-bed-makers admit to being unhappy. Bed makers are also more likely to like their jobs, own a home, exercise regularly, and feel well rested, whereas non-bed-makers hate their jobs, rent apartments, avoid the gym, and wake up tired. All in all, bed makers are happier and more successful than their rumple-sheeted peers.”
Making your bed in the morning will make you start your day off feeling good. When you feel satisfied, your brain lets out dopamine into your body, which is the “feel-good” hormone.
It’s like a reward system in your body. When you do something good, your brain releases dopamine, which makes you feel good, which tells your body:
“hey, when I do stuff like make my bed in the morning, it feels good. Which means, when I organize my house throughout the day, I’ll feel better than when it’s a mess.”
So no, making your bed isn’t just for the looks – it also helps you start your day off feeling good, which sets the tone for the rest of your day.
“But what if my spouse is still in bed when I get up in the morning?”
This is a completely realistic scenario and one that is often true in our household.
I’m a morning person I’ve forced myself to be a morning person, so I’m always up before my husband.
…and no matter how nicely I make my bed when my hubby is still sleeping, when he gets up it’s messy again.
One thing you can do if your spouse gets out of bed after you is make the bed after they get up.
“But what if I go to work and he’s still in bed?”
In that case, you could try something like asking your spouse to make the bed when they get up, or you could make the bed as soon as you get home from work – because late is better than never.
>> You can learn more advice on making your bed first thing in the morning in this homemaking course (and get $10 off with the code DELIBERATELYHERE10). You’ll also learn a whole array of other homemaking tips.
5. Create a Done List
I was going to take a moment to write all about how you need a to-do list. Because, for people like me, to-do lists are imperative.
The satisfaction of crossing something off my list makes me want to keep going until it’s done. (Interesting fact: 66% of people cross stuff off their to-do list, while only 21% check stuff off the list.)
But, after learning that a staggering 41% of tasks on a to-do list are never done, I learned we may need a different approach to getting things done.
Since lists do help us remember things that need to be done, ditching the to-do list altogether likely isn’t the solution to getting more stuff done every day.
The solution? A Done-List.
I scooped this idea up from Inc, and I’m really loving the purpose behind it.
A done-list is a list of the small – or large – accomplishments you’ve made throughout your day. Taking time to write down the things you’ve done reenergizes you and motivates you to keep going.
Inc goes on to say,
“Spending a few moments reflecting on what you achieved ends up making you more productive in the end by juicing your energy levels.”
“But there’s NO WAY I’d be able to remember to do everything that needs to get done without a list.”
Valid point, I’m right there beside you.
What I’ve started doing, on top of my “done-list”, is writing important tasks down in my calendar.
Meetings, appointments, or even tasks that I’m easy to forget like starting to prepare taxes, I’ll write down in my calendar so that I remember to do it that day. Then, it’s not like a “real to-do list”, but it still serves as a reminder of the things I need to get done.
If you’re wondering why on earth you should take time out of your already-busy day to write down things you’ve already done, here’s why:
A LifeHack article mentions that writing down your daily wins – daily accomplishments – makes you more aware of your progress, which will motivate you, give you a sense of accomplishment and create feelings of happiness.
The article goes on to state:
“Any accomplishment, no matter how small, activates the reward circuitry of our brains. When this pathway is opened some key chemicals are released that give us a feeling of achievement and pride. In particular, the neurotransmitter dopamine is released which energizes us and gives us a feel-good aura. This chemical enables us not only to get that sweet feeling of reward but also motivates us to take action and repeat what we did to trigger its release in the first place.“
So ditch the old to-do list and use a self journal – or any other type of pretty notebook – to create your done-list.
6. Create a Routine
Hearing the words “create a routine” and “follow a routine” will send the free-spirit in all of us running for the hills, but studies suggest that having structure through following a routine can be beneficial even for the least organized of us.
Psychology Today says that healthy routines can actually be freeing. When you have a good routine set in place, you can go on “autopilot” while still accomplishing your goals.
The article goes on to say, “Good routines can provide structure to your day,”.
Creating a healthy routine will help you feel less fatigued, give structure, and help your day move in a positive direction.
Although routines are healthy and good, it’s also a good idea to break your routine from time to time, essentially giving your brain a “break from routine”.
Your daily routine is the perfect opportunity for you to implement organizational habits into your daily life.
Say, for example, your morning routine looks something like this:
- Wake up 10 minutes earlier than the rest of the family
- Rest / Read the Bible
You could take that routine and implement some more healthy habits into it to start your day off with an organized house.
- While you’re brewing your coffee to drink while reading your Bible, you could tidy up the living room.
- After taking your shower, you could quickly tidy the bathroom.
- While you’re making breakfast, you could empty the dishwasher.
7. Set Goals
Writing down your goals makes you 10x more likely to actually achieve those goals.
Don’t confuse writing down your goals with creating a to-do list.
A to-do list is a list of all the tasks you need to complete within a given day or week, which can sometimes make it more difficult to complete said tasks because when you look at your long to-do list, completing everything on the list can feel overwhelming.
Writing down your goals, on the other hand, is giving your goals a physical nature. It’s making it so that you can actually see your goals, rather than just having them as wishes or dreams in your mind.
You’re much more likely to achieve your goals if you can see what they are instead of just thinking about them.
“But how do goals play into learning how to be organized?”
If you’re striving to be organized, goals play a big role in the success of your organization in that they help you get to where you want to be.
Everyone has goals, we just don’t always know it. You may wish your living room was less of a mess all the time.
Your goal would then be to get rid of clutter and organize your living room.
Writing down your goals puts the responsibility of reaching them on your shoulders.
If you don’t know what your goals are, take a moment to picture what you want your home to look like.
Do you hate that it’s always a mess? Do you hate that you spend an hour every morning looking for the keys? Does the fact that inviting guests over turns you into a monster bother you?
Take a moment to picture your ideal house. What’s different about it than the way it is right now?
Next, write down how your ideal house looks. Picturing your ideal house in your mind, write down what you feel when you walk into each different room. How do you feel now that you’ve finally reached your goal?
Then, write these feelings down, and write down your goals. Once you’ve figured out what your goals are, write down the steps you will take to achieve these home organization goals.
Pro tip: This is another place where using your self planner will come in handy.
8. Keep Things Where They Are Most Used
Storing things where they get used is one of the most overlooked home organization tips.
…but it makes complete sense.
Why WOULD you keep the toilet bowl cleaner in the linen closet across the house from the bathroom when you could store it right in the bathroom?
Maybe you keep the BBQ set in the garage and anytime you want to bar-b-que on the back deck you have to track the tools through the house to the deck, and half the time they just get left out there anyway.
When items get stored in places far away from where they get used, more times than not they will get left out somewhere they don’t belong after being used.
Start by making room in places that often use particular items. For example, clear space in the cupboard under the bathroom sink to store the bathroom cleaners.
Place a nice basket on the back of your toilet to store spare toilet paper. (Or get an over-the-toilet organizer.)
When you store the kitchen cleaner in the kitchen – where it gets used – you’re much less likely to leave it sitting out on a countertop for several days instead of putting it away.
9. Have a Place for Everything
This, along with decluttering your house, is THE number one way to have an organized home.
I talk all about how you can create a place for everything you own here: How to Organize Your House
But the gist of it is this:
The first step is to get rid of anything you no longer need (there’s no point in having stuff you don’t even use taking up sacred real estate in your house). If you don’t know what to get rid of first, start with these 20 things.
Next, you make a mess. This is where you sort, move around and finally create space for the things you do need. The things that are worth creating space for in your house.
When finding a home for everything you own, your best bet is to do it as quickly as possible.
Block out a weekend in your schedule to do nothing but organize your entire house – you’ll be glad you decided to do it this way instead of over the course of a couple of months because when you stretch the process out, you’re less likely to ever finish it.
10. Purge Regularly
Regularly decluttering your home has many benefits that go far beyond the awesome benefit of living in a clutter-free, organized home.
- Taking inventory of everything you own & getting rid of stuff that is just taking up space
- You’ll be less stressed (studies show that the more cluttered a woman’s house is, the more stressed she will be)
- You’ll have to clean your house less often
- Your house will actually look organized
- There will be more living space in your home
- You’ll get more done (and be more focused)
- Making decisions will come easier
- You’ll be healthier (clutter collects dust, dirt, and mold, which all trigger allergies and can cause respiratory problems)
Decluttering your house gives you the freedom of letting go of things you no longer need. And the sooner you start, the easier it will be.
Declutttering is like anything: The more you practice it, the easier it will become.
At first, letting go of your beloved belongings – or even that home decor sign stuffed in the back of your closet you never hung up and can’t even remember where it came from – will be hard.
You’re going to want to keep everything… “just in case I need it one day.”
But once you start practicing regular decluttering, even of just small stuff, it will become easier and easier.
Pro tip: Use these two decluttering resources (one free, one paid) to declutter your house easily – and without tears.
11. Be Mindful of What You Allow Into Your House
The moment something comes through the doors of your house, it’s now your responsibility to find a home for it somewhere in your already-full house.
The average American household owns 300,000 things.
Let me say that again:
An average household has 300,000 things in it.
(If you’ve ever wondered why even after hours of trying to organize your house it still looks unorganized, it’s because you own way too many things.)
Tell me, when was the last time you used everything in your house?
So, instead of bringing anything and everything into your house, even if someone is offering something up for free, ask yourself these three questions:
- Do I need it?
- Will I use it?
- Do I already own something that serves the same, or a similar, purpose?
12. Be Happy With Less
Fumio from The Guardian says it best,
“We think that the more we have, the happier we will be. We never know what tomorrow might bring, so we collect and save as much as we can”
Contrary to the popular belief that we need more things to be happy, less is more.
On top of believing that less is more, I also believe that less inspires creativity.
Because when we don’t have the latest, greatest, everything… we have to make do with the things we do have.
For example, my hubby and I LOVE homemade fries, so I think a fry cutter would be awesome. But I don’t have one and I don’t want to dish out 50$ to go buy one, either.
So, I make do with what I have and I appreciate the fact that since I don’t have a fry cutter, I don’t need to spend time trying to find a home for it.
13. Ditch Duplicates
Just like purging your house regularly and being happy with less, getting rid of duplicates is an important step towards having an organized home.
Duplicates are “just in cases” that we justify keeping… just in case the one we are using breaks one day, this way we don’t need to go out and buy another.
Now, decluttering your house on a low income is a bit different than decluttering your house when you’re not so pinched for money.
When you don’t have much – if any – money to spare, I recommend decluttering this way. (You’ll end up keeping some duplicates, but not all.)
However, ditching duplicates is still usually the best way to go. Then, if something you’re currently using breaks, make do without it for as long as possible before going out and getting a new one.
14. Keep on Top of Dishes
When you let dishes pile up throughout the day, not only does it cause you to spend more time washing dishes later in the day than if you were to deal with them right away, but dishes piled sky-high on the countertop also makes a house look unorganized.
When you wash dishes right away, you eliminate most of the need for scrubbing.
Food particles don’t get the opportunity to leech to the dishes if they’re washed right away rather than when they’re left all day.
Create a daily habit of loading dishes into the dishwasher and/or handwashing dishes after each meal. Try not to let dishes sit on the counter all day or you’ll have to spend more time in the evenings cleaning up.
When you keep on top of your dishes throughout the day, you’re that much closer to eating that delectable rocky road ice cream while watching reruns of Friends.
15. Do a 10-Minute Tidy Every Evening
Spending a couple minutes every evening tidying your house (and emptying your drop zone basket) allows you to start the day off with a clean house, instead of having to clean and tidy first thing in the morning.
If you have a daily routine that you follow, block off 10 minutes in the evening to do a quick tidy of the house.
This 10-minute tidy isn’t the time to pull out the steam cleaner and get rid of the crinkles in your couch cushions.
All it is is a quick tidy where you put everything away where it belongs, wash leftover dishes, sweep the kitchen floor, and wipe countertops.
This is a good evening routine to include your whole family in – give each family member their own chore to complete and you may find this quick evening house tidy takes less than 10 minutes from start to finish.
To make it more fun – yes, fun – give each family member a couple of tasks, then set the timer for 10 minutes and see if everyone can get finished their tasks before the timer rings.
Since studies conclude that women feel more stressed and anxious when their homes are cluttered and unorganized, it only makes sense that ending the day with an organized home would help you feel more relaxed, unwind, and allow you to sleep better.
16. Use the Timer Method
If you’re facing a large portion of your house that needs to be organized – or your whole house – using timers to break the organization tasks up into manageable bites is vital.
Telling yourself you have two hours to get the office organized is a lot more manageable than telling yourself you have to get your entire house organized stat.
Using timers to break the tasks up into sections allow you to work, distraction-free, until the timer goes off.
It gives you an endpoint.
That endpoint allows you to stay motivated because you know you don’t have to continue doing this until the job is done – you just have to get as much done as possible until the timer blares.
You could set the timer for 30-minutes and set out to organize as much of the living room as possible, and when the timer goes off, give yourself permission to take a break and do something you enjoy doing.
After your break, if you still have time, set another timer and get right back at the task until the timer goes off again.
“But how long should I set the timer for? How long should my break be?”
Research shows that working for 52 minutes and then taking a 17-minute break will help you work to your full potential.
The article goes on to say,
“Turns out, the secret to retaining the highest level of productivity over the span of a workday is not working longer–but working smarter with frequent breaks,”
To get the highest level of productivity, work at a specific task for 52 minutes with fixated purpose, and break hard.
Make sure to take breaks – and when you take a break, allow your brain to decompress and get reenergized (and no, scrolling through Facebook doesn’t refresh your brain).
During your breaks, the best way to refresh your brain and refocus is to remove yourself from the work atmosphere. Go for a walk, read a book, visit with a friend, or do some form of exercise.
All of the above examples will allow your brain to decompress and “check out” from the work mindset, which will allow you to really focus again when you get back to work.
17. Single Task
In a world that holds multitasking to high esteem, single-tasking can often be frowned upon. But, as the popular quote goes:
“The quickest way to do many things is to do one thing at a time.” – Christopher Westra
Studies have found that our brains can only efficiently focus on one thing at a time, and when we try to do two or more things at once, our brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully. (Source)
Single-tasking drastically improves your productivity and success in that given task because your brain is able to focus all its brainpower on that one task, rather than splitting it up between two, three, or even four different things.
So, if you’re trying to organize a space, answer an email, talk on the phone, and write a grocery list…
Pick the most important thing and do it. Then, move on to the next. Stop wasting time moving between tasks without finishing one thing before going on to the next.
Studies have found that productivity can be reduced by as much as 40% when we multitask.
>> Having troubles with single-tasking? Grab this book to learn how to get extraordinary results by focusing on one thing at a time.
18. Do It Now
It’s time to quit procrastinating and start doing the things that have been weighing you down.
What’s something that’s been on your to-do list (whether a mental list or physical list) for days, even weeks, that you still haven’t done?
But first, why do people procrastinate?
A Solving Procrastination article says that the main reason people procrastinate is because they’re afraid of failing at the task they need to do. The article goes on to say:
“Overall, we procrastinate because our self-control and motivation[…] are outweighed by negative factors, such as anxiety or exhaustion.“
When you feel overwhelmed by your list of to-dos, you’re much more likely to procrastinate and push things off than if you have a simple list that seems easily achievable.
People who procrastinate are also known to have higher levels of stress and lower contentment. (Source)
Procrastination happens when you know what needs to be done, but you don’t know how to do it.
- You know you need to organize the mess in your house, but you don’t know the steps to take to achieve that.
- You know living like this isn’t good for your health – or that of your family members’ – but you don’t know what to change.
- You know once your house is organized you’ll be happier, but you think if you put it off long enough maybe Cinderella will come clean it. for you.
Here’s how you can stop procrastinating:
- Write down your main goal somewhere you can refer back to (example: “for my house to be organized”)
- Write down the steps to take to achieve that goal (“for 40 minutes today I will organize the office,” etc.)
- Dig into your secret chocolate stash then get to work
19. Utilize Vertical Spaces
Vertical organization is one of my very favorite home organization tips.
Most people organize their homes horizontally – with flat surfaces running side to side.
But a smart way to start organizing – particularly if you’re low on space – is vertically, utilizing the space up the walls.
A few examples of vertical home organization would be:
- Hanging spice racks
- Hanging fruit basket
- Wall jewelry organizer
- Hanging plant holders
- Vertical closet storage
- Wall mount file folder
- Stacking bins
- Shelf organizer
- Over-the-toilet storage
- Ladder shelf
20. Organize The Drawers
The best way. to organize drawers is to use drawer organizers. They’re like magic (these are my favorite). They can keep everything organized – even the junk drawer.
Keeping your drawers organized with drawer organizers helps everything have a home… even the things in your drawers.
This way, you don’t have to worry about wasting time looking for stuff because you know exactly where it is – and it’s definitely not buried somewhere in a drawer.
21. Label Everything
Let me repeat myself: Label. Everything.
If you don’t have a labeler, you can grab an affordable one here.
Using labels to organize your house is just about one of the most genius tricks I’ve ever heard. Instead of having to dig through storage bins and any containers you can’t see into, you know exactly what’s inside there without even opening it up.
Which, not only helps keep things organized by giving everything a place to live (where like items are stored with like items)… it also helps keep things inside those containers organized.
Have you ever dug through a dozen boxes looking for something before you found it? And what you’re left with is a mountain of half-unpacked boxes littering the floor.
…and they either get left there, their contents spilling everywhere, or you hurriedly put everything back into the box in an unorganized and chaotic manner.
This is why labels are awesome.
Because they eliminate the unknown.
You will know where literally everything in your house belongs, and when you’re looking for something, you won’t have to waste time unpacking a dozen boxes before finding the right now (or is that just me?).
My House is a Disgusting Mess
If you don’t know why you can’t seem to organize your house, don’t beat yourself up.
Home organization isn’t a one-and-done, and it certainly doesn’t end once you finally get your house looking the way you’ve longed for it to look for years.
Learning how to be organized at home and how to keep your house organized means doing small things every day because we all know that small things, done consistently, add up to big changes.
If you feel overwhelmed by the mess in your house and like you can’t get organized and the mere thought of organizing everything in your house makes you want to burn it down instead, tell yourself this,
“It’s just stuff.”
It’s just stuff. Do it now – tell it to yourself. If you’re in a public place people might think you’re going crazy, but you need to believe this.
Me telling you the stuff in your house that’s overwhelming you right now is just stuff isn’t enough. You need to truly believe it for yourself.
Once you believe that your stuff is just stuff and that it doesn’t control you, you’ll be able to start your way to living an organized life in an organized home even if you are a chronic mess maker.
>> Need help getting started? Click here to learn how to get organized today.
Download Your Free Printable: Your Home Organization Kit
To get started giving everything you own a home right now, you can get my free Home Organization Kit, which includes a quick single page step-by-step guide on making a home for everything you own, an inventory log for your belongings, and an organization cheat sheet to keep you on track. Here’s how to get it for free:
- Download the free kit. As a bonus for joining my newsletter, you’ll get the free printable home organization guide. You can click here to download and subscribe.
- Print it off. Both color or black-and-white work for this kit. It’s not the looks that matter, it’s using the kit to keep yourself accountable and on track while you organize your house what matters (even though I did go ahead and make the kit super cute and fun). Don’t skip this step – remember, you’re 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down.
- Use it. As you work your way through your house learning how to organize each room, keep the kit with you so that you can refer back to it often.
How to be Organized at Home… Your Turn
What’s something on this list you haven’t been doing but are excited to start? Feel free to share it in a comment below! Or, do you have some hidden home organization tips up your sleeve? Feel free to share those too. 🙂
Related Articles to Help You be Organized Today:
Tired of the Mess? This is The Best Way to Organize Your House Today
7 Home Organization Tips Guaranteed to Keep Your House Spotless
20 Crazy Easy Things to Declutter When You Feel Stuck